Happy Father’s Day from NSSA!

i Jun 19th No Comments by

Last week was a flurry of activity and craft projects, with both Barell and Adult Services classrooms working on Father’s Day gifts!

Tori put together an “I Spy Aquarium” shaker jar, with colorful sensory beads, glitter and miniature sea animals. Students selected their animals of choice, counted out how many beads they wanted, and selected blue or green glitter to fill their jars with. The sensory beads were a big hit with students and staff alike!

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The Adult Services classes made homemade barbecue sauce for Dad.  Clients measured out and mixed the ingredients and then bottled them in jars with a sauce brush and label.

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We hope all the dads out there had a great day…and enjoyed their handmade Father’s Day gifts!

NSSA’s Special Olympians

i May 31st No Comments by

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On May 20, 2017, Bethpage High School hosted the Special Olympics Spring Games North.

The Special Olympics is an international organization that provides sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-style sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them opportunities to develop physical fitness and participate with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

NSSA is proud to have a Barell student as well as an Adult Services client participate in the event.

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N., a student in the Martin C. Barell School, took the bronze medal in the 50 meter run and the gold in the softball throw! Way to go!

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J., one of NSSA’s Adult Services clients, also won two medals – bronze and silver – in the 50-yard-dash and softball toss. Congratulations, J!

Exercise is important for all people, regardless of age or ability. We’re so pleased to see our students and clients participating in events like the Special Olympics, as well as horseback riding, kayaking, badminton, running and more.

Friends & Family Celebrate NSSA’s 25th Annual Dinner For Our Children

i Apr 19th No Comments by

Our April 1 Dinner Dance was no joke, as over 400 guests attended the annual fundraising event. Old and new friends helped celebrate the event’s 25th anniversary at Leonard’s Palazzo in Great Neck, NY.

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There was dancing….

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Games of chance with wonderful prizes.

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We celebrated two graduations from The Martin C. Barell School program into NSSA’s Adult Services program.

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Executive Director Nicole Weidenbaum and Event Chairperson Paul Raguso inspired generosity in the crowd and we were able to raise more money than ever before. Thank you to everyone!

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Overall, people just had a wonderful time celebrating NSSA and helping to support our programs and services.

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Thank you to all the amazing, hardworking people who brought this event to life, as well as our generous sponsors:

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If you would like to receive an invitation to next year’s Dinner For Our Children, or any of our events, email dinnerdance@nssa.net.

Movin’ On Up: Jason Harris, College-bound

i Aug 12th No Comments by
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Friends Chris, Jason and Alyssa

Jason Harris, long-time NSSA consultation student, made a touching presentation today at The Martin C. Barell School when he presented his new video “Jason Harris-Transitioning from High School” and officially ended his time with NSSA and announced his newest venture as a student at Vaughn College of Aeronautic Engineering, Aviation and Technology.

Jason’s friend Chris, an NSSA Adult Service client, began the presentation with a talk about some of his own experiences at NSSA.

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NSSA’s Transition Coordinator Jacquie Frangoulis introduced Jason and congratulated him on all his hard work at achieving his goals.

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After the video presentation Jason removed his NSSA ID card and replaced it with his new Vaughn College ID.

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Students and staff congratulate Jason on his exciting new future.

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Morgan Kauffman, who has known and worked with Jason for many years, was on-hand to celebrate with him as well.

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Everyone at NSSA is so proud of Jason and excited to watch him take the next steps into his future – Congratulations, Jason!

And here is Jason’s story…..

NSSA Gets Crafty for the 4th of July

i Jun 28th 2 Comments by

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Lily Polishuk from Individualized Family Care returned to NSSA last week to lead both adult clients and Barell students in creative projects.

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Adult Service clients created a red white and blue wreath out of clothespins just in time to decorate their homes for the 4th of July.

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Clients painted and glued clothespins, sorted by color, and attached them to a metal frame.

Thanks, Lilly!

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I’ll Tumble for Ya!

i Jun 23rd 2 Comments by

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On Tuesday, June 21, Martin C. Barell’s Classroom 1 (and a buddy!), graduated from their 12-week class at Farmingdale Gymnastics Academy.

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They demonstrated all their exercises for family and friends – balance beam, tumbling, obstacle course, zipline, and trapeze.

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There were dazzling smiles everywhere as the boys flew, swung, and fell into the foam pit.

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Friendships were made…

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Everyone grouped around to be congratulated for their efforts and progress.

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Each gymnast received an award for their special strength:

Best Trampoline

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Best Flyer

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Best Somersault

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Best Trapeze

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Best Balance Beam

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And Honorary Team Member J. received the award for Best Buddy!

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We’d like to thank Farmingdale Gymnastics Academy and especially coaches Serena and Lisa for their teaching skills and wonderful ways with our students.

Why Not Come Dancing

i Jun 9th 2 Comments by

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The wonderful students and staff of Smithtown High School East once again hosted a fun evening for NSSA students and clients on April 1, 2016.

They decorated the space and dressed according to a Luau theme and everyone had a great time dancing, snacking and limbo-ing.

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The event is geared for students and clients aged 14 and up. Smithtown students encourage dancing and socializing. NSSA staff attends as well.

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DJ Matt Figuccio keeps the party lively playing favorite tunes.

Thanks again to Smithtown High School East for being such gracious hosts, we look forward to seeing you again soon!

A Special Night For Our Special Kids: Spring 2016

i Jun 6th No Comments by

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As part of its outreach to the greater autism community, NSSA hosts A Special Night for Our Special Kids twice yearly at Adventureland in Farmingdale. NSSA tries to hold the spring and autumn events during program breaks to give our guests with autism and their families something to look forward to when there are few structured activities available.

In spite of challenging weather, we welcomed families into the park this past April 25 for an evening of fun.

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Many families with a child with autism find the prospect of attending an amusement park on a typical evening extremely daunting. Long lines and crowds can be especially challenging for these families. During NSSA’s events, Adventureland is closed to the general public and made available to people with autism and their friends and families. On these special evenings, the amusement park is at reduced capacity. The shorter waiting times for rides make it much easier for our friends with autism and more manageable for their families. Since the park is filled with people who understand autism, the atmosphere is very relaxed and caring. We hear over and over again that it is only during the NSSA events that many of these families would even consider going to an amusement park as a family.

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Our next Special Night for Our Special Kids at Adventureland will take place Friday, Sept. 16, 2016, 6:30-9:30pm. (Rain Date: Thursday, Sept. 22
6:30-9:30). We hope to see you there!

Commack High School Tennis Team Aces Autism Awareness

i Jun 2nd 2 Comments by

Wednesday, June 1, 2016 was a perfect day for Commack High School’s 5th Annual Student/Teacher Doubles Tournament fundraiser “Tennis for Autism”  to raise awareness of autism and NSSA.

Proceeds from the fundraiser were generously donated to NSSA.

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Shane Helfner, President of the Suffolk County Tennis Coach’s Association, spearheads this event each year – we’re so fortunate to have such good friends and supporters in the community.

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Family and friends, staff and students came out to support the event and players. There was such a genuine feeling of camaraderie among the tennis team and faculty players.

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Raffle prizes were announced near the end of the event and there were many happy winners.

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Everyone who participated received a medal and the top four places in the tournament received trophies. But everyone involved in the event – from students and faculty, to Shane and parents – are winners as far as we’re concerned.

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Thank you Commack HS Boys Varsity Tennis Team, Commack High School faculty, and Shane Helfner for helping to raise awareness of autism and Nassau Suffolk Services for Autism.

Starry, Starry Night

i Apr 22nd No Comments by

NSSA’s Adult Services clients let their inner artists out when a painting teacher visited them earlier this week. Lilly Polishuk from Individualized Family Care  led the group in a rendition of Van Gogh’s Starry Night.

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The clients, aided by staff, followed the instructor-led step-by-step instructions to create individualized works of art.

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Clients practiced direction following and imitation while exercising their self-expression.

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A finished product…and a proud client.